BTC China has become the world’s biggest digital currency exchange having handled a greater volume of bitcoins in the past week than Mt. Gox and Bitstamp.
More than 109,841 bitcoins have been exchanged on the site in the past seven days, compared with 93,372 on Bitstamp and 76,673 on Mt. Gox, according to data from Bitcoinity.org. In the past 24 hours alone, BTC China has processed 36,104 bitcoins, compared with Mt. Gox’s 24,913 and Bitstamp’s 23,214.
Bobby Lee, CEO of BTC China, said: “It’s an honor to see that BTC China has been propelled ahead to number one in the worldwide rankings. The real credit goes to the people in China, for having recognized the importance and value of bitcoin.”
He is not sure whether BTC China will be able to maintain its position at the top, asserting that “nothing is permanent”.
Lee highlighted that, months ago, he predicted October would be a big month for bitcoin in China. “The people here are really getting it, and it is being spread by both the general media and by word of mouth,” he said.
More and more people in China are investing in bitcoin, but the opportunities to actually spend it are still limited. CoinDesk reported earlier today that a bar in Beijing is now accepting digital currency, but it is one of the only establishments in the country to do so.
Lee believes bitcoin currently has value not because of the amount of merchants that accept it, but because of its unique characteristics as a scarce, open-source, decentralized and distributed digital asset that has no third party risk.
“Once people recognize these valuable attributes, then it will be natural for more people to demand it. Once demand goes up, people (and merchants) will be willing to accept it as a form of payment,” he added.
Lee thinks what is currently happening in China is just the beginning of a worldwide trend and that bitcoins will soon be accepted into society and people’s daily lives across the world. “Since China is the world’s most populous country, it’s reasonable to see that China is also one of the first countries to really embrace bitcoin.”
Lee said the pick up in interest in China has caused the price of bitcoin to rise. He thinks prices will continue to go up in the coming years, as more and more people worldwide become aware of digital currency.
He said that at the current circulation value of CNY ¥16 billion ($2.6 billion), it is still a small fraction of what it should be for a truly global asset class.
There is plenty of room for the price to increase, however, Lee is certain there will continue to be price bubbles and mini-crashes in the coming months and years.
“It’s only human nature for there to be frenzy buying and panic selling. With this human nature, I expect bitcoin prices to continue to be volatile in the coming years, until it reaches a more stable worldwide price point, which I expect to be much higher than today,” he concluded.